Breast cancer awareness is highlighted here each October. No matter who we are, across the Brazos Valley, someone we love or know has been impacted by breast cancer. As a community, the Bryan-College Station area is fortunate to have a group of women survivors, the Pink Alliance, and the sponsorship of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, leading the annual funding request, promoting awareness and support.
Cancer is a killer. Women and men united together to fight cancer stand ready to beat it. It is strong. We are stronger. Every time I go to the gym, I think of keeping my body and mind in shape, preparing myself to be strong against the process of aging. Every day, survivors of breast cancer are right next to me in the gym. They’re working out when it’s not convenient, when the weather isn’t good, especially when they don’t feel like it. Why? Because they want a long, full life and they’re willing to put in the work to make that a reality. Some are private about their stories, their journey, and their victory. They are brave warriors, each one.
Say you’re one of the fortunate who have not had cancer impact your family. Do you know someone who is a survivor? That’s all the reason you need. On Tuesday, Oct. 3, you want to be at the College Station Hilton, for their 15th Annual “Surviving and Thriving” Luncheon. Guest speaker is ABC’s Good Morning America news anchor, Amy Robach, a breast cancer survivor. Come and hear her story. It’s amazing.
Today, we’re fortunate to have the advances in science and medicine that we have. Thanks to the support of generous local citizens, businesses, and college departments, plus individuals who buy tickets starting at $60 each. The money you give stays here in the Brazos Valley to support local patients and increase awareness for women’s mammograms. I’ve got lots more to say about the great work that the Pink Alliance does here, battling breast cancer. They’re the toughest group of gentlewomen you’d ever want to know, and they have hearts of gold. I know this to be true.
Our community owes a major debt of gratitude to the Pink Alliance volunteer group here in the Brazos Valley. The luncheon committee is made up of community volunteers and breast cancer survivors. I’m going to share their names (from the committee) here, because I want you to know our friends and neighbors who make this special event happen, and you may not even realize that someone you’ve known and cared about for years is a survivor. Please take a moment to read these names and when you see them next, thank them for all they are doing to help raise funds to care, locally, for other breast cancer survivors.
2017 Surviving & Thriving Luncheon Committee
Kay McWhorter, Co-Chair and Pink Alliance Board Member
Carolyn Oatman, Co-Chair and Pink Alliance Board Member
Amy Austin, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Lou Blinn, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Laura Bond, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Norma Borne-Ashley, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Charlene Broome, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Julie Colunga, Community Volunteer
Debbie Dunlap, Pink Alliance Board Member and Breast Cancer Survivor
Gay Dunn, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Hilda Eisele, Community Volunteer
Carole Faulkner, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Patricia Gerling, Pink Alliance Board Member and Breast Cancer Survivor
Thelma Isenhart, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Lee Ann, Kilcoyne, Community Volunteer
Deborah Klepac, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Jeannie Kipp, Pink Alliance Board Member and Breast Cancer Survivor
Doris Light, President–Pink Alliance and Breast Cancer Survivor
Tracy Paine, Community Volunteer
Janie McDougal, Pink Alliance Board Member and Breast Cancer Survivor
Bobbie Olivares, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Reba Ragsdale, Pink Alliance Board Member
Rhonda Raphael, Community Volunteer and Breast Cancer Survivor
Polli Satterwhite, Community Volunteer
Here are some facts about what this magnificent Pink Alliance group has done:
- In the past 15 years, they’ve raised over $675,000 to “support local breast health initiatives, further cancer awareness, and serve breast cancer patients through low-cost mammograms and other financial support.”
- Pink Alliance is the host for the annual Surviving & Thriving Luncheon, and the monies raised stay right here in our community.
- In 2016, “more than 274 volunteer hours were registered by individuals who attended Pink Alliance Support Group Meetings”
I’d like to also put the spotlight on The Eagle, The Matthews Group, and local radio stations Classic Hits 107.3 FM and KORA 98.3 FM for publicizing this event as media sponsors.
There may be a few tickets remaining for tomorrow’s luncheon so if you haven’t made your plans yet, please go and see how many others in our community care about the same thing we do—surviving and thriving. Congratulations to all who make this annual event happen and for all of the good works you do here for others.
Cody D. Jones ‘02
Owner & Community Member